Book explores last leg of life's pilgrimage

The later years of life can present many challenges, but that time also has the potential to be meaningful, rewarding and spiritually rich.

Over the shoulder look at the book Pilgrimage
The authors say their book is for boomers and older people looking for meaning in life.

In their book, "Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life: 7 Gateways to Spiritual Growth," published by The Upper Room, Rev. Richard L. Morgan and Jane Marie Thibault offer professional expertise and insight, as well as their personal experiences, to help people navigate their elder years with purpose and a godly perspective.

The pair, colleagues and friends for a number of years, refer to themselves as the "bookends" of aging, representing two different generations.

Morgan, who lives in western Pennsylvania, is a retired United Methodist pastor, blogger and consultant. He is 85. Thibault is a gerontologist and emerita clinical professor in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Now 67, she also served as an adjunct faculty member for the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is a consultant on aging issues, focusing on spiritual dimensions of aging. Both have written multiple books.

Thibault and Morgan say reaction to the "Pilgrimage" book, published in 2012, has been very positive. They recently completed a Leader's Guide for using the book in small groups. It is available on Morgan's website,

"The book has struck a nerve with people -- not just the people my age, but for the baby boomer generation, which has started to retire," Morgan said. " ... I think the book has found a real niche with the baby boomers that are looking for more than trips and pleasure and all of that. They're looking for something that will give their lives meaning. Thanks to medical science, we've created a whole new stage of life [for the baby boomers]. The book has struck a chord with the boomer generation because it deals with spiritual growth, which is sometimes neglected by other books on aging."

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*This story was originally published in Interpreter Magazine.

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